Almost all the incumbents re-elected in Quebec as electoral map of the battlefield province remain largely unchanged


Blanchet said earlier in the election that he hoped to win 40 seats in this election, but late-night results show his party’s total is more likely to drop below the 32 won in 2019.

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MONTREAL – Just as the election produced a national result that has changed little, only a meager handful of seats in Quebec seemed at risk of falling late Monday in what is usually a battleground province.

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With most of the province’s 78 seats called up around 11:30 p.m. EST, the Liberals look set to maintain a slim seat lead over the Bloc Québécois, just like in 2019. This means that none of the key federal leaders only managed to reach significant numbers. voters distant from Yves-François Blanchet’s party.

At 11:50 pm Eastern Time, the Liberals were leading or had won 35 ridings, the Bloc Québécois was at 29, the Conservatives at 12 and the NDP at two.

This is an almost identical result as the elections approach, when the Liberals held the most seats in the province with 35, closely followed by the Bloc Québécois (32), then the Conservatives (10) and the NPD (1).

Unsurprisingly, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has retained his seat in the Montreal riding of Papineau, just as Bloc leader Yves-François Blanchet will remain MP for Beloeil-Chambly.

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In Beauce, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada, Maxime Bernier, was beaten hands down by his Conservative opponent and incumbent Richard Lehoux, who more than doubled Bernier’s vote. Polls showed Bernier’s riding was his party’s best chance of winning a seat in Parliament this election.

Blanchet broke with usual political tradition at the start of the election by publicly declaring that he hoped to win 40 seats in this election, but late-night results show his party’s total is more likely to fall below of the 32 won in 2019.

One riding that seemed on the verge of a change was that of Berthier-Maskinongé, where former NDP star Ruth Ellen Brosseau led her Bloc Québécois opponent and outgoing MP Yves Perron. If she wins, she would be Jagmeet Singh’s second MP in the province, alongside Montreal MP Alexandre Boulerice.

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A few races that promised to be close fights were also quick victories for the holders, such as for the liberal minister François-Philippe Champagne in Saint-Maurice-Champlain and the liberal candidate Elizabeth Brière in Sherbrooke.

In the riding of the battlefield of Eastern Quebec, Gaspésie-Les ÃŽles-de-la-Madeleine, Liberal Minister Diane Lebouthillier led her Bloc Québécois opponent Luc Bernatchez by more than 1,000 votes in a race that s’ very tight ad.

But from midnight, the two battlefield constituencies of Trois-Rivières and Beauport-Limoilou (in Quebec) were still intense three-way battles between the Conservatives, the Liberals and the Bloc, with barely hundreds of votes. separating each party. Both were held by the Bloc before the election.

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Throughout the campaign, the Conservatives and Liberals urged voters to support them instead of Blanchet’s Bloc Québécois in hopes of winning crucial seats that had slipped to the Nationalist Party in 2019. Both argued that ‘ a vote for the Bloc was a “lost” vote for the opposition.

The Conservatives hoped their advocacy would help them win more seats in the Quebec City area, while the Liberals targeted a large number of Bloc ridings around Montreal.

The Quebec campaign saw some unexpected intrusions, including a major by François Legault. The popular premier of Quebec dived headfirst into the campaign in the middle of week four when he said the Liberals, NDP and Greens’ platforms were “dangerous” to the province.

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“I find it very worrying that three parties, the Liberals, the NDP and the Greens, not only are not open to giving Quebec more autonomy but want to centralize and appropriate powers which are clearly provincial competences,” he added. declared Legault at a press conference. .

“I am a nationalist, I want Quebec to be more autonomous and have more power. There are three parties that want to give us less autonomy. And I find that dangerous, ”added the immensely popular Prime Minister.

I think we are the government that delivered more than ever for Quebec

Speaking to journalists before the polls close, Liberal candidate and Quebec lieutenant Pablo Rodriguez said he was “surprised” and “disappointed” by Legault’s intervention.

“I think we are the government that delivered more than ever for Quebec,” he declared.

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But the highlight of the Quebec election did not come from a party leader or candidate, but rather from English debate moderator Shachi Kurl, a British Columbia-based pollster.

Kurl was castigated by all federal and provincial party leaders in Quebec after a question to Blanchet saying he denies the province “has problems with racism” and asking him why he was supporting “discriminatory” laws that “marginalize them. religious minorities, anglophones and allophones ”.

Blanchet immediately objected to the premise of the question and denounced his “crass and repeated accusations” in a furious press conference after the debate. Other federal leaders also expressed their displeasure in the days that followed, going so far as to ask for an apology from the media consortium that organized the debate and considered the matter.

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This controversial issue – and Blanchet’s strong reaction – also gave the Bloc’s campaign the boost it was looking for to slow its slow decline in the polls since the election was called. A Léger poll showed that party support in Quebec fell from 27 percent the day before the English debate to 32 percent a week later (and a few days before the vote).

When reporters asked Rodriguez if he was happy with the way his party had campaigned, he replied “in general yes”, but that Kurl’s question was a negative element which he said gave the Block at least an initial swing.

“What I hadn’t anticipated was the English debate, with the question that shocked me deeply,” Rodriguez said. “It probably had an impact where it favored the Bloc in the beginning, but I think things are back to where they were before (the debate).”

Until the bitter end of Election 44, the National Post is running a special daily edition of First Reading, our political newsletter, to keep you up to date with the ins and outs of the campaign. All curated by National Post’s Tristin Hopper and published Monday through Friday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m. Sign up here.

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